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Reply #34: Dmitry Orlov: Welcome to Fuffland! [View All]

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DemReadingDU Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-23-09 08:16 AM
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34. Dmitry Orlov: Welcome to Fuffland!

3/22/09 Dmitry Orlov: Welcome to Fuffland!

some snippets:
A fuffle is an artful fake, an artifact specifically made to fool, beguile, seduce, or intimidate people into paying for it. Ideally, the initial transaction serves as the basis of a permanent arrangement, with the victim roped into an installment plan, which keeps the payments flowing even after the fuffle itself has crumbled into a pile of dust. An even better fuffle is one that grows over time. Since a fuffle is, in essence, a fake, its useful properties, should it have any, are largely irrelevant, and so its abstract (which is to say, financial) properties come forth as being the essential ones. The most important such property is, quite obviously, size, and indeed fuffles tend to get bigger and bigger over time. This is a telltale feature of fuffles that makes them easier to identify: if something gets bigger and bigger over time while delivering the same or lesser value, then it is quite likely to be a fuffle. Also, fuffles breed: as a fuffle gets larger and larger, it produces offspring of other fuffles, which also grow. Examples come from many realms.

Take, for example, suburban and exurban houses. For a time, people couldn't get enough of them, and at one point fully half of the US population was living in them. Their square footage had increased far past what even a large family might actually need, while at the same time their cost had exceeded what an average family could afford. In the final act of suburban expansion, these fuffled houses begat fuffled mortgages: fraudulent loans clearly not intended to be repayable over their entire term but quickly rolled over into some other fraudulent monstrosity. And fuffled mortgages begat fuffled equity-backed securities. And these begat fuffled government bailouts.

Another example is America's favorite fufflemobile: the SUV. This is a truck chassis made to superficially resemble a gigantic passenger car, with none of the advantages of either and all the disadvantages of both. These were advertised as safer than cars, while they are some of the most unsafe passenger vehicles ever sold. These also grew in size and cost, while begetting fuffled auto loans, and eventually leading to fuffled automaker bailouts.

read for the Russian background of the word fuffle...
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